Thursday, June 15, 2017

Once and for All~Sarah Dessen | Review

Title: Once and for All
Author: Sarah Dessen
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Length: 358 Pages
Release: June 2017

The description created this really nice picture in my head. Unfortunately this did not live up to that image. There are things I liked, but a lot bothered me in this one. 

Going into this I expected a YA romance with a someone cynical main character who had been hurt from some previous relationship. That, however, is not really what this was. There was romance, in an odd way. To avoid spoilers I am not going into the previous relationship that left Louna feeling unsure about love, but I was rather disappointed with it. The story was sad, yes, but there was far too much instalove and that sapped it of any real emotional connection for me. 

The description leads you to believe that Ambrose will leave behind his serial dating and actually try to win Louna over, but that's not the case at all. In fact, for most of the novel it didn't seem like he was any more interested in her than in any other girl there was. While they had their cute moments, their "romance" was seriously lacking. And they way they treated the other people they dated throughout the story was appalling. Honestly, that ending made me rather mad. 

I know that Dessen's novels tend to be strictly YA aged main characters, but I was still a little surprised that Louna turned out to be only seventeen. I think it would have worked better if she had been just a few years older. And it never says how old Ambrose is exactly, which left me a little confused at times. The characters, overall, were rather lackluster for me. Louna was hurt after what happened with her previous relationship, but I also felt like she hadn't really cared before that either. Ambrose had his moments, but was overall kind of a jerk. The rest of the side characters were ok and had some nice moments. 

The main thing that I did appreciate about this one was the relationship between Louna and her mother. It's the healthiest mother/daughter duo I think I've seen in a Dessen novel and it was nice to see that side of things. Neither of them was clueless about the others life and they genuinely cared about helping each other. William was also sweet with Louna and it was nice to see their interactions. 

I also really liked Ira, Ambrose's dog. This added a cute touch and is really what made Ambrose seem like a good guy, since there were no other great indications that he really cared about anything that much. This could have been a great book, I just don't think it was constructed properly for me to feel that way about it. I'm sure that there are many people who will love it and while it wasn't my favorite, it also wasn't my least favorite of Dessen's novels. Well, that's still up for debate. 

After thinking about this book for a few more days, I think I like it less than I initially thought. There was so much potential. Dessen is my go to for contemporary novels, but this was such a disappointment. 

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